Chapter Thirteen



Yamcha had been sitting in the same position for hours. His legs had been crossed for so long that, not only had they ceased to have any feeling in them whatsoever, but his butt cheeks had also decided to join the party. Now all he could feel was the pre-effects of yet more paralysis, tingling up his spine, and threatening total body shut down. It wasn't that he hadn't meditated before, because he had, but damn! He at least had snack and water breaks in between. What was the use of surrendering the soul, if the stomach was still fighting?

It was a horribly useless viscous circle. He wanted to succeed, his heart ached for the training to work, but his mind, well… it was still so unfocused. He'd been staring at nothing for so long that the nothing had somehow inexplicably morphed into a roast chicken, smothered with honey, surrounded by a triple helping of Yorkshire puddings, dumplings, and gravy.

His stomach growled and his spirits took a nosedive.

It was useless! He'd been meditating for so long and it wasn't getting him anywhere. King Kai had promised he'd train him and all that had happened was a friendly order to meditate, and then nothing. Surely there was more to it than that? Yamcha's mind screamed at him to just give the fuck up. It reasoned that no amount of training was worth killing himself over, and he was on the verge of throwing in the towel once and for all, when a voice (which he wasn't entirely sure came from the inside) reminded him that he was, in fact, already dead. A thought that might have depressed someone in a different position, but which reminded Yamcha that he needed to continue, because he needed to live, needed to be better than Vegeta, and that no amount of pain was too much for Bulma.

All this was for his girl! No scratch that… all this was about keeping his girl.

Yamcha was, of course, oblivious to everything around him. He missed the thick curtains being released for another morning of Other World training, and he missed Kaio-sama as he walked out and leant back into the canvas of his favourite deckchair, sipping thoughtfully on a cocktail of his own concoction.

"He's been that way for over two days!" exclaimed Tien not long afterwards, coming out of the house with a towel wrapped around his thick neck. "Are you sure he'll be okay?"

"Absolutely positive!"

"But he's had no food or water, and if he dies in this dimension, then he'll cease to exist!"

"Your concerns are noted, but I know what I'm doing!"

Tien frowned, looking pointedly at the tired body of his old friend. "For Yamcha's sake, I hope you're right."

King Kai nodded, with a complaisant smile. "I'm always right - and it's most definitely all for Yamcha's sake. He can quit anytime he wants. As for you though… are you slacking on me? Two hours of pole training before breakfast. Hop to it."

With one more worried glance, Tien bowed to his sensei and walked away. All was right. King Kai knew what he was doing. Yamcha on the other hand, well… he wasn't so sure about him.


Two long days! It had been two, long, miserable days since Vegeta had left her. It felt much longer. It was so weird, the way he seemed to force himself under her skin and how… how he managed to worm his way into her feelings. Okay, she could admit that the situation between them was far from ordinary, and that circumstances and her life were a little awry, but how… when did it happen, this… dependence she had formed on him? He was only training, and probably no more than two hundred miles away (a five minute flight in Saiyajin terms) why did she feel such a gap from him?

Unfortunately the reason was all too clear to her now, and for once she didn't try to block it out.

Her resolve was breaking, her will was lessening, and her heart was… oh god!

She paced the cabin floor, furious at him, and even more disgusted with herself. "Damn him!" she hissed, her teeth fanged with internal loathing. "Fucking arsehole! How dare he… how dare…?" All the venom seemed to evaporate from her body, all the pent up aggravation flowing with the tide from the inside and pouring into the pit of her stomach. He had no idea, no idea what he was doing to her. "That bastard," she murmured. "Perhaps it would be wise for you to start listening to your body more. Yeah right Vegeta!"

The chair was soft, and encompassing as she curled her feet up into its depth, reliving the day she had so many times since its occurrence. She must have been insane! Had she really done that? Stripped down to nothing in front of Vegeta and thirty thousand soccer fans? At the time she remembered thinking the day couldn't possibly get anymore bizarre, but then again… thinking anything like that when you threw Vegeta into the equation was a very dangerous thing to do. He had proved as much to her not long afterwards.

Despite the thin remnants of heat afforded by the mild climate, flying with Vegeta had been an experience to say the least. The haphazard air currents that were sent spinning from his body in conjuncture with his ki, made the particles surround him freeze as they were buffered away - and as it was apparent that Vegeta didn't like the idea of too much naked bodily contact, (expressed by holding her at near arms length) Bulma found that she was the one freezing instead. To his credit, and Bulma simpered that it was very much to his credit, Vegeta had been prompt to remedy the situation as soon as he realized what was going on.

The way he had moved her closer to his chest, and blown his warm breath onto her shoulders as his ki licked around her, had been almost chivalrous, in a weird kind of way, and gave her hope that maybe the compassion lessons were starting to sink in.

Bulma chuckled slightly, remembering that the Goosebumps Vegeta had found so intriguing and alien on her skin, were more than the sudden change of temperature she had attributed them to. There was just something so… mmmmm… intense about everything he did, and when it was given so ungrudgingly for her alone to see, it produced the most defiant thoughts - thoughts that were very inappropriate for any sensible and intelligent woman to think. She'd thought about dark nights in her bedroom, waking up to all the intensity of those twin Saiyajin eyes, having them pinned on her, covering every centimetre of her flesh as his body fulfilled it.

Even as he still held her, she'd closed her eyes, giving into a fantasy that she had never indulged in before, merging it with the memory of how good his lips had felt dominating her own. The power in the hands that clasped her made a bad situation even worse as they moved slightly over the skin, giving a hint of what it would be like to have him all to herself. She'd subtly even tried rubbing her thighs together to give extra release to the feeling, but all she had gotten was a brusque growl, and an order for her to, "Stop the fucking squirming, Whore, before we both crash."

Even that hadn't done much to alleviate the ache, because the growl reverberated through his chest and was more authoritatively appealing than cold and insulting. They had passed many suitable landing sights as they'd fled with the sun that evening, several of which were extremely remote and miles away from any prying eyes, but Vegeta had continued to fly on.

To be frank, Bulma hadn't felt like complaining. The flying, in itself, had added to the excitement once she'd become comfortable under his protection. Oh yeah she had flown before, with both the mechanical and the physical, but… there was a dynamic to Vegeta's flight that she hadn't gleaned from any quarter before. It was like she was riding a tightrope between the physical and the impossible, and once they'd eventually landed in a bay the opposite side of Monaco harbour, she had made several mental notes demanding to make damn sure it wasn't the last time she flew first class with the brutal Saiyajin prince.

As their feet had touched soft, warm sand, Bulma had been very reluctant to pull away, and even when she'd tried, the equal unwillingness of Vegeta had made her stop. He'd allowed her to turn in his arms and stare out at the ocean, bringing his shoulders over her own. They'd both watched as the moonlight reflected from the water in a continuous fluidity, and Bulma had been amazed at how well protected she felt in his arms. It was Vegeta, a man who had once sent the fear of HFIL through her body, and yet there was no objection, no awkwardness and no questions, just... comfort.

They'd stayed that way for long beyond her view of Vegeta's patience. Neither of them saying a word, and Bulma had been especially reluctant to say anything, lest it be something she'd regret in the morning. Even then she'd known, no matter how right it felt - it was a sort of temporary insanity that would be lost in the morning with Vegeta. She'd had to remind herself that Vegeta didn't know or care what it was to love anyone and that all the attention he gave to her was for the advancement of his own power and greed. The thought, no matter how sobering and justified, still managed to make her inexplicably sad, but she'd reasoned, it was a lot less than she might have to suffer in the future if she let the madness her body craved win out. So she contented herself with the relaxing thought of being close to her newfound friend and sharing a little special moment of security with him.

She had become so lost in the moment that when he had a last spoken, she'd had to ask him to repeat what he'd said, because although she heard the words her brain couldn't (or wouldn't) register them in any order.

"I said," he'd breathed again. "Does flying always excite you as much?"

Bulma had been stunned. She reminisced with pain, at how much her body had given her away. Her legs had buckled slightly and the heat had risen to her features, giving her reply of, "You mean almost freezing to death? Yeah, it's a ball!" less conviction than it merited.

"Well," he'd replied as her mind reeled. "If almost freezing to death gets that kind of response then I'll just fly you to one of the poles and my part of the trade will be fulfilled."

"I can't imagine what you're talking about," she had lied, finding herself caught in a strong offshore currant, leaving all safe ground well and truly behind.

"I think," he'd continued. "That now would be an opportune moment to tell you that all Saiyajin senses are highly evolved, smell being one of them."

She'd closed her eyes, willing the subject away, knowing exactly where the conversation was going, and not wanting it to even touch base- but in the end it had proved useless. Just like in anything else, Vegeta's hard-worked talent of never giving up, and his love for twisting confused emotions, was playing into effect.

"So then. Little miss faithful, wasn't wondering what it would be like to ditch her human lover and get corrupted by her evil houseguest instead, was she?"

She'd laughed, trying to make it sound like he was delusional, but it was half choked with a scream at being so utterly found out. "Ludicrous!"

"Is it?"

"Yes!" Bulma had protested, trying to think quickly. "Its true. I did get… a little… excited, while flying, but…."

"Ah!" he'd interrupted, "now the truth comes out."

"But!" she'd emphasised, when he let her speak. "It was only because I was imagining you were Yamcha!"

She'd stood triumphant - game, set, and match, being hers. But the euphoria had been cut short by Vegeta's scowl, and marked snub at her rebuttal. He'd walked haughtily away from her, leaving her without his embrace and without it's security. Normally it wouldn't have gotten to her. She'd won, she'd cut Vegeta back, but the lie had been given false values, and it only succeeded in repaying the insult ten times. It hadn't felt good, not like it had the other times. In fact, as he'd thrown her clothes at her and ordered her to, "get dressed," she'd felt pretty shitty, desperate to smooth over the affront.

It was then that realization came into play. She'd compared him to her lover and he'd gotten angry. It was an emotion that she'd never realized could contain so many subtleties, but in this case, she almost sensed that it was because his pride had been wounded. She'd wondered if his anger could be a result of his wanting her to get excited by him. Could it be that something had taken him onto ground that was extremely dangerous for both of them? Could it be that the kiss he had given her the previous night was more than just a result of their emotional trade off?

Curiosity gets to us all of us, no matter how much control we think we might have over it, and perhaps that was part of the reason that Bulma had refused to take Vegeta's rebuke at face value, and reawakened the conversation she had purposefully silenced.

"Vegeta?" she'd called softly, leaving her clothes where they had fallen.

He'd looked up briefly through two scowled eyes.

"What would you do if I told you I'd lied? That it wasn't the thought of Yamcha's body, but the closeness of yours, that made me so excited?"

"I'd call you a liar and a slut," he'd answered with flawless spite.

Bulma had waved a dismissive hand, "You've called me worse."

Vegeta had looked studiously to the floor, trying to figure his response, and had at length looked evilly back up, wiping a thumb arrogantly across his bottom lip. "I wouldn't want to disappoint my new Chikyu-jin friend now would I?"

She'd laughed slightly. Perhaps it was the Mediterranean flavour that had taken her over at that point, or perhaps it was an affliction of the senses, but something in her system just couldn't resist the temptation.

"When you kissed me last night, did you like it?"

He'd stared at her flatly - his eyes expressionless under heavy brows. "No."

"Really? So if I was to kiss you now, you'd object?"

He hadn't replied, but shook his head instead, a wicked smirk gracing his features, as Bulma had twisted her hips temptingly in front of him.

"So you'd kiss me but you wouldn't enjoy it?"

Another shake of the head - slow and purposeful.

"Then wha…?"

She hadn't been given the chance to reply, Vegeta had grabbed her by the hair before she had even seen him move… forcing his body against hers. His strong muscular arm, pushed into the back of her neck, giving her no choice but to cooperate, affirming his dominance over the situation.

"You're very wrong, Whore," he'd panted across her face as he held it back, "I have a notion that I'd enjoy it very much, and that is what I don't like."

"I don't see the problem."

"Look ningen, all you have to understand is that desire for anything other than my primary objectives is dangerous to me and an unforgivable weakness for my Saiyajin blood."

"A weakness? Oh no…" she'd whispered, "not a weakness, but another step on your road to compassion."

"Don't be stupid woman. You want to change this into another lesson. Well too bad! You've done this lesson before, and I stopped. Where is the compassion if I still want to break you?"

"Sometimes feeling compassion means willing giving up something you want for the greater good. The last time it was doing something for me, because it was the right thing to do. This time it's about curbing something that only you can control… your desire."

At this point he'd laughed out loud. "You're playing a dangerous game with me, Witch - and placing too much importance on your ego."

"Am I?" she'd purred, wiggling her hips teasingly against his groin, freeing a hand from his embrace, and cupping his balls gently in the palm of her hand.

His reaction had been reflex, simultaneously dropping his head into the nape of her neck, and hissing low and passionately into her ear, as his teeth had grazed it.

"Your body isn't saying the same thing as your mouth, Vegeta."

"Bitch!" he'd snarled while still rocking his hips against hers. "I've surrendered to your whim once before in this predicament. You won't be so fortunate a second time!"

"Then you're in a sticky situation, Vegeta," she'd replied, quite literally having him by the balls. "What do you want more? To satisfy yourself with my body once, or to reach Super Saiyajin? I don't want to sleep with you because it would be the destruction of my love for Yamcha. If you take me now against my will, after you've called me your friend, after you've accepted so much of my help, you will never understand what true compassion is. Making sacrifices over your own desire could be the key to your ascension - are you willing to jeopardize the power of Super Saiyajin for me?"

Bulma remembered the look of anger that had flashed so intensely through his eyes, and even in the privacy of her cabin it made her shiver. Never in her life had she seen anything so equally powerful and beautiful. That had been the point. It had been then, looking up into that tempestuous face, with its strong and regal - angry and impassioned features that she'd first realized the soul shattering truth… that his desire was something exceptional, and something that she enjoyed when given in her direction.

Through her own doubt, her own taunts, she'd actually wanted him to say fuck compassion, fuck Super Saiyajin and take her right there and then, irrespective of the consequences. Somewhere down the line she'd fallen for his badass persona, and it had only been then, when she'd given him the ultimatum, (her or Super Saiyajin) that she'd realized, if it weren't for Yamcha, it might have been scarily easy to give him both.

It was all vain conjecture though. Even as she had thought it, Vegeta had let her go and she had him.

"You're right," he'd said at length, scooping up his trousers and pulling them up over his hips. "There's nothing worth risking Super Saiyajin for."

Bulma hadn't expected him to answer any differently, and it served as a sort of temporary reality check, and she'd even been able to force a smile in his direction.

He'd stared arrogantly back at her, his eyes looking almost unfocused with dominant pride, as it flattened everything in it's path. Ki started to power into life around his feet, pushing the air violently away from him, and forcing Bulma to one knee.

"Where are you going?" she'd asked.

"To train," he'd replied. "Your precious ship isn't in harbour yet, but I'm sure you'll think of something. Don't sleep easy, Witch. I'll find you again when I am ready for more instruction."

Bulma had smiled and let her legs collapse onto the sand, sitting back prettily on her heals. "Remember," she'd shouted above his rapidly rising ki. "Compassion isn't just about knowing what to do in any given situation… it's about remembering it and adhering to it on an everyday basis."

"I'll bare that in mind," he'd said, as he'd turned away. "And don't think you get off lightly, Whore! Excitement isn't always about doing something you like, even the things you enjoy can become boring if you do them often enough. It's not about indulgence - it's about spontaneity. Perhaps it would be wise for you to start listening to your body more."

And then - in the next moment - he had gone, bursting into the dark sky in an arc of light that spiralled beyond the horizon. He'd left her on her own, in a foreign country, with nowhere to go and no clue what direction civilisation was in. Whether, therefore, it was coincidence that just along the coast there was a path that cut though the mountainous countryside and linked up to the beginning of urban sprawl, was hard to tell. Either way she'd found a nice little hotel close to the water and managed to shower, and rest, before the cruise ship crawled into the harbour early the next morning.

It was just unfortunate that he'd stolen away with a part of her that would be particularly difficult to get back.


Table of Contents
Chapter 12
Chapter 14